The federal banking, thrift and credit union regulatory agencies have published an informational brochure to assist consumers in identifying and preventing a new type of fraud known as phishing." The term "phishing" – as in fishing for confidential information – is a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information. In a typical case, the consumer receives an e-mail requesting personal or financial information; the e-mail appears to originate from a financial institution, government agency or other entity. The e-mail often indicates that the consumer should provide immediate attention to the situation described by clicking on a link. The provided link appears to be the Web site of the financial institution, government agency or other entity. However, in "phishing" scams, the link is not to an official Web site, but rather to a phony Web site. Once inside that Web site, the consumer may be asked to provide Social Security numbers, account numbers, passwords or other information used to identify the consumer, such as the maiden name of the consumer's mother or the consumer's place of birth. When the consumer provides the information, those perpetrating the fraud can begin to access consumer accounts or assume the person's identity.